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Accompanying local suppliers in transforming their farming practices in Mauritius

  • Published on October 6, 2021
With respect to its environment policy and the Travelife Certification awarded to its 9 hotels, the Attitude Group
decided to procure local fresh produce, grown in accordance with sustainable practices, rather than importing food.
While reducing its environmental impacts, offering safe, healthy and high-quality food to guests remains of utmost
importance to Attitude Group
Background information
Although Mauritius is considered as a net-food importing country by
the World Trade Organization, the agriculture sector with some 9,000
small- scale farmers1
is involved in vegetable and fruit production of
about 115,000 tonnes of food crops in Mauritius annually.
The introduction of the Use of Pesticides Bill2
in 2018 was a landmark
in the agricultural sector in Mauritius, as it is the first legislation to
control the use of pesticides in agricultural practices. The Bill aims
at regulating, controlling and monitoring the importation and use of
pesticides in or on certain fresh fruits, plants, seeds or vegetables
with a view to, inter alia, minimise risks to human health and the
environment.
Type of procurement:
local fresh vegetables
Year of inception: 2017
Type of business: Hotel
Organisation name:
Attitude Hospitality Ltd
Number of staff: 1,500
Country/region: Mauritius
Quick facts
The challenge
With respect to its environment policy and the Travelife Certification3
awarded to its 9 hotels, the Attitude Group
decided to procure local fresh produce, grown in accordance with sustainable practices, rather than importing food.
While reducing its environmental impacts, offering safe, healthy and high-quality food to guests remains of utmost
importance to Attitude Group.
The strategy
In 2017, Attitude Group launched its sustainable procurement strategy, involving the sustainability, procurement and
operations departments. The strategy is articulated around the following initiatives:
 Decision was made to source part of its vegetables and fruits from the supplier MP Green Life Ltd, a local farm
within 10-15 miles from two Attitude hotels, growing a mix of hydroponic4
and traditional farming methods
with controlled pesticide use.
 Since 2017, awareness sessions have been delivered by the Responsible of CSR & Sustainability Development
to approximately 50 suppliers including vegetable and fruit farmers suppliers, in order to inform them and
raise awareness on Attitude’s vision and sustainable approach;
 Monitoring visits to suppliers are conducted by the Attitude Food Hygiene Officer from the Risk & Compliance
department in collaboration with the Procurement department;
 In March 2017, Attitude participated in the Switch Africa Green programme (Promoting Sustainable Local
Agriculture through Green Retail and Green Hospitality)5
(SUS-AGRI). Its objective is to promote sustainable
local food by transferring good practices and experiences of green retail & green hotel business to Mauritius
to drive sustainable food consumption and production, add value to local food and improve the livelihood of
small farmers. In this context, local farmers currently supplying Attitude Group are assisted in obtaining the
MauriGap standard. MauriGap Standards6 is a framework for good agricultural practices on local farms and is
adapted from international standards; it covers efficient use of resources, adoption of environmentally sound
practices for natural resources, biodiversity preservation, pre and postharvest best practices, workers’ health
and safety; and agricultural waste recycling.123456
1 Source: http://www.switchafricagreen.org/MA/index.php/k2/item/226-promoting-sustainable-local-agriculture-through-green-retail-and-green-hospitality 2 Available at: http://mauritiusassembly.govmu.org/English/bills/Documents/intro/2018/bill0618.pdf
3 More information available at: https://hotels-attitude.com/en/travelife-gold-award/
4 Hydroponic farming is the process of growing plants or crops in water without the use of soil. Hydroponic plant cultivation is widely considered more
sustainable than regular farming as it uses around 90% less water and has minimal footprint.
5 More information available at: http://www.switchafricagreen.org/MA/index.php/k2/item/226-promoting-sustainable-local-agriculture-through-green-re- tail-and-green-hospitality
6 More information available at: http://www.govmu.org/English/News/Pages/Agro-Industry-Minister-launches-National-campaign-on-MauriGAP-Stan- dard-(MS-1842015)-Level-1-.aspx
©jaochainoi/Gettyimages
Supported by:
based on a decision of the German Bundestag
For further information
https://hotels-attitude.com/en/green-attitude-foundation/
Contact person: Pamela Mungapen,
Responsible CSR and Sustainable development
pamela.mungapen@hotels-attitude.com
Impacts
 In a period of four months, between September and December 2017, the volume of
procurement from MP Green Life Ltd. has tripled compared to the same period in 2016
(14,905 USD in 2016 vs. 42,826 USD in 2017).
 The hydroponic farming practice is free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers
and the drip irrigation enables water and energy savings;
 MP Green Life Ltd is based 10-15 miles from two hotels wherein fresh produce are
supplied, thus reducing the transportation carbon footprint;
 Choosing vegetables grown according to hydroponic practices did not generate
additional costs: MP Green Life Ltd and Attitude agreed on prices equal to traditionallygrown vegetables, against a commitment to increase volumes procured by Attitude.
CO2
“Our farming activity is growing thanks to
Attitude group, which acts as a facilitator
in our sustainable approach’’.
– Mr Mayeven Poinen, farmer, MP Green Life Ltd
Lessons learned
To address the lack of certified farmers in the vicinity of hotels and resorts in Mauritius, it is critical to
engage with local farmers and suppliers and accompany them in adopting more sustainable practices.
For example, Attitude encouraged local suppliers to attend the training delivered by the Food and Agricultural
Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) and to obtain the MauriGap certification.
Sustainable products such as hydroponic-grown vegetables can imply higher costs; engaging in a
partnership with the supplier based on a win-win agreement, whereby prices are capped against the
commitment of increased volumes of purchases by the hotel has proven successful.

Supporting document(s)

accompanying_suppliers_in_transforming_their_farming_practices_in_mauritius_2.pdf Download
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Programme(s):

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